Chats (Basic): Send manually or automatically

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TaxDome’s Chats feature allows you to communicate with your clients securely and in real time. Use it to schedule appointments or ask clients for missing information. Plus, Chats lets you set up reminders, attach files, assign tasks to clients and more.

Covered here:

Chats, explained

Main things to know about Chats:

  • Chat threads are a secure place to ask questions, request files and assign tasks.
  • Clients receive notifications about new chats and pending questions.
  • When someone responds to a chat, creates a new chat, makes changes to client tasks or uploads a document, you get a notification and an email in your inbox+.
  • When you add tasks for clients inside a chat, they are displayed as to-do lists with checkboxes. 
  • The progress of those task to-dos can be tracked on a separate page.
  • Use @ before a team member’s name to get their attention inside a chat. 
  • You can set up automatic reminders for chats.
  • Once you have what you need, archive the chat to avoid clutter.
  • To send identical messages to multiple clients, use chat templates.
  • The Chats feature is also available on the TaxDome mobile app.

To access Chats, go to the  Communication tab of the client's profile.

Creating new chats

A chat thread can be created by a firm owner, an admin or a team member assigned to the account or with a view all accounts access rights.

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Note: Clients who haven't activated their TaxDome account cannot receive messages. In order to use Chats, clients must have portal access enabled from the firm's side and an account activated from their side.

There are three different ways to send a chat message:

Start a chat with a client

To start a chat , click the New button on the top left, select Chat from the slide-out, write a note, then click the Create chat button. You can also go to the client's account, open the Communication tab and click New Chat.

Below we explain the numbered sections in the  New Chat screen where you create new threads:

1. To: Select the name of the person the message is for.

2. Template: Choose a template for a frequently sent message. For more details about templates, go here. Select a template only when creating a new chat not when responding to one.

3. Subject: Enter the subject line; it will be displayed in the Chat list. When you use a chat template, it is automatically populated. Click + Add shortcode to individualize it: Shortcode includes dynamic data that gets replaced with, for example, a client’s name or the date. For more info on shortcodes, go to the detailed article.

4. Message: Compose the message—use text formatting, emoji, bullets, numbered lists and links. When you apply a template, the message automatically populates. Get a team member’s attention in the message by using @ before their name, or click Attach to add files from your desktop or TaxDome (more details below).

5. Reminders: Toggle on if you want a reminder email to go out to the client when they don’t respond within a certain time frame or don't have their tasks completed (more details below).

6. Tasks: Add checklists for your clients. For more details, go here.

7. Create chat: Click to send your message to the client. Otherwise, click Cancel.

8. Link to jobs: Select jobs to link, then click Save.

Start chats with several clients

If you need to send the same message to lots of clients, use our bulk-messaging feature.

Go to Clients from the left sidebar menu, select the checkboxes next to the clients you want to send the message to, click More actions in the top menu bar, then click Send message in the pull-down. Select a chat template or write a subject of the chat (optional), add your text, then click Create chats.

Add documents and tasks to a chat thread later if needed. 

Setting up reminders

Whenever you send a message, a notification goes out. Users linked to the account who have Notify toggled on receive it. You can check which users have Notify toggled on by going to the account’s Info tab and viewing the Contacts section.

If recipients take too long to read/answer your message or to complete the task in a thread, you have two options:

Set up automatic reminders

To set up automatic reminders about unread/unanswered messages and uncompleted client tasks, toggle on  Reminders in chat template, when you create chat either manually or via pipeline automation. You can also do it anytime later right from the thread.

How to configure Reminders:

  • Days until next reminder: By default, a reminder goes out three days after the notification on a new message was sent to the client, but you can change this to whatever you like.
  • Number of reminders: By default, the client gets only one reminder email, but you can also change this to what you prefer.

Reminders can also be turned on and off at any time by going to a chat thread. Open the Reminders tab, toggle Send reminders to clients on and make the adjustments needed, then click Save.

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Note: The reminders are always sent for the last message in the thread.

Reminders stop for any thread when:

  • If there are client tasks in the chat thread:
    • Tasks marked incomplete: Reminders stop when all client tasks in the thread are marked completed and all messages are read.
    • Tasks marked completed: Reminders stop when all messages are read.
  • If there are no tasks in the chat thread: Reminders stop once the client replies to the last message.
  • Regardless of task presence in the chat thread, reminders also stop if:
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Note: If you archive a chat thread but then reopen it, the Reminders toggle is on as if the message is new.

Attaching files inside chats

A firm owner, an admin or a team member with access rights to manage documents can attach files to chat threads. For this purpose, you can use files either from your desktop or from top-level folders with:

Client can view and edit access.

Client can view access.

To attach files when you create chat:

  1. Click 📎 Attach on the top left of the message field both when creating a chat or when viewing the existing chat thread.
  2. Select From My Computer and locate the files you want to upload from your desktop. Otherwise, select From TaxDome and choose the documents you want to attach.
  3. Select the folder to upload the document and click Save.

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Tip! You can upload zip files from your desktop and they will automatically unpack. Here's more on uploading zip files.

When you or your client upload at least one document to a chat thread, a Documents tab appears inside it with the paper clip icon in the chat name:

1,2. Documents tab and the paper clip icon: shown only if there are docs attached to the chat.

3. + Add documents: upload new documents to the thread.

4. Docs uploaded by client: download, view or delete them. Deleting docs also removes them from the chat thread.

When a client or other team member uploads a document, you get a notification in the chat thread and in Inbox+

Including videos inside chats

Want to add visual to your messages to clients? Include Loom, Vimeo, YouTube and Google Drive clips when it’s easier to show than tell. Click the video icon in the text-formatting toolbar, then paste a link in the Embed video pop-up. 

Your client will see the video right inside your shared chat thread. 

Adding images to chats

You can send images and screenshots to Chats either from your device or from any website. Open a chat thread and use one of the options available:

  • Upload an image from your device using 📎 Attach button
  • Paste any image from the web to the message field

Ways of adding images that are not supported:

  • Drag and drop an image into the message field.
  • Paste a file with the image to the message field from your device.

What clients see when you send messages

A client views and responds to a message you’ve sent them by clicking the notification on their dashboard, clicking the link in the email notification or by going to the Chats & Tasks section of their portal. Client tasks are also displayed inside notifications.

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Tip: By default, the message content is not displayed in the email notification body (the client will need to navigate to their portal to see it). However, if the content is not sensitive, show it in the email.

If you don't disable this feature specifically, your clients can also initiate a chat thread themselves by clicking New chat on the client portal home page or in the Chats & tasks section or by clicking Message firm in the mobile app.

If you’d like to see TaxDome from the client’s side, access a read-only view of their portal.

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